Roughly 90 Chibok girls are still missing

  • Around 90 abducted women still unaccounted for.
  • A third have likely Died.
  • Some freed captives wed to militants in camp.

Roughly 90 Chibok girls are still missing. Based on the accounts of former abductees, the Murtala Muhammed Foundation believes a third of those have died in captivity.

“Some died of childbirth, some of starvation or snakebite others in government air strikes” against Boko Haram, said Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode, the foundation’s head. A parents association for the Chibok girls also estimates dozens are now dead.

Nigeria’s president’s office and the interior ministry did not respond to requests for comment on how many of the missing Chibok girls were believed to still be alive.

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Early on, as the girls began emerging from captivity in the bush and their fate was still a rallying cause around the world, the government pledged to fund their studies in “any field of their choice.”

Some liberated captives are attending universities as far afield as the United States. But some say the assistance never arrived.

Yagana Yamani waited for government funds for six years after escaping her captors. She finally asked her mother, a farmer, to help. Now 25, she is studying public health.

“They didn’t fulfil their promise,” she said.

The federal government did not respond to requests for comment on the question of whether it failed to provide promised support.

Nigeria’s military has been fighting Boko Haram since 2009 in a conflict that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced more than 2 million.

While the group aims to topple Nigeria’s government to establish a state based on its own interpretation of Islamic law, to many people around the world it is best known for the Chibok kidnapping.

Soon after the raid, then-President Goodluck Jonathan promised that the girls would be brought home. Solomon Maina feels he is alone grappling with his daughter’s fate.

Through a freed abductee, he learned that Debora had been injured but survived a bombing raid on Boko Haram. He believes she’s still out there, alive.

“Where is she now? Is she in a comfortable place?” he said. “I think about this all the time.”

(C) Reuters

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